The COVID-19 Pandemic is still affecting the whole world even after more than ten months since it’s outbreak. More than 35 million cases have been reported as of 7th October 2020, with over 1 million deaths. WHO had estimated that the world economy would shrink by 5.2% this year. Many businesses were halted due to the imposed lockdowns all over the world. Almost all countries have lifted the lockdowns now, and many businesses are allowed to operate to boost the economy. Consequently, the world economy has started to recover, but it’s still gradual and uneven. COVID-19 hugely affected the Salon industry as salons were shut for almost three months. All salons in India were allowed to open by July 2020. The recovery in the salon industry is low as compared to other businesses. Let’s talk about how salons can adapt to COVID 19 to boost their revenue.
Why Salons need to Adapt to COVID-19?
Many of you must be thinking as to why salons need to change and adapt to COVID-19. Well, let me remind you of the famous quote- “Change is the only constant”, quoted by Heraclitus. This quote does apply in the current situation and holds 100 percent true. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the ways we used to live before. People started doing stuff on their own. Digital practices got a sudden boost up, be it online grocery portals, e-commerce platforms, digital payments, and even work from homes. The food and transport sectors have adapted to ensure public safety. Film industries started releasing movies through OTT platforms. People have started using more self-care products. So, every industry is trying to change and adapt to recover & survive. It’s high time salons consider and embrace this change. Then only they can bounce back from the losses. So, how can salons adapt to COVID 19? I have compiled a list of methods or ways you should practice as a salon owner. These are as follows:
1. Redefine Salon Interiors
The clients hesitate to visit the salons even after the lockdown is lifted. They don’t want to put themselves at risk of getting corona infected. The only option to attract them is by following all the safety measures & precautions. Salons need to adapt accordingly. We have to redefine our salon’s infrastructure and environment. The interior furniture and other decorative stuff need to be rearranged to maximize the distance between the work station and waiting areas or reception. The gap between the two chairs should be increased to ensure the proper distance between 2 clients. Few salons have also put acrylic sheets between the chairs to provide appropriate physical and social distance. It induces trust and security amongst the clients that they are safe. Your salon shouldn’t look full or crowded. It should look open and airy. Then only your clients will feel comfortable visiting your salon.
2. Encourage Appointments & Pre Booking
To minimize the crowd and following social distancing guidelines, Appointments and pre-booking is a must for every salon. Try allowing only limited clients at a time at your salon premises. Tell your existing and regular clients to pre-book their slots before visiting the salon. Give appointments to the new clients according to the services they want. Create a proper plan as to how many clients you will allow at a specific time and then follow it accordingly. This will help your salon being crowd-free. Also, your clients won’t have to waste their time waiting for their turn. This open and safe environment of your salon will attract more clients towards taking services from you. This is a crucial step for salons to adapt to COVID-19.
3. Ensuring Client’s Safety
You must be following all the safety measures and precautions in your salons as laid by the government authorities. Apart from this, you also need to check your client’s medical conditions. Sanitize their hands as soon as they enter the salon and check their temperature using a thermal gun. Ask them if they have any symptoms of COVID 19. Check their health status on the Arogya setu app. Only allow them inside if they don’t have any symptoms. Request them to come alone in the salon if their friends or relatives are accompanying them. Tell them not to take kids along them. Don’t forget to make sure that they have worn a mask. All these steps are only meant for ensuring your other client’s safety.
4. Ensuring Staff Safety
As a salon owner, it’s your responsibility to look after your salon staff’s health. Manage your salon staff working hours by scheduling their shifts. Please provide them with the necessary items like PPE kits, masks, gloves, etc. Your salon should have the required stock of these items. Train them to follow the health guidelines. Train them to practice minimal touch service. For example- the traditional threading method is done by putting the thread in the mouth, but now they have to use it over the neck. Regular sanitizing of hands and tools after giving the service is to be done. Also, take care of their mental health by motivating them from time to time. Try helping them if they have financial issues. This pandemic has taken a toll on them. Help them in boosting their confidence. Moreover, You would like to visit letsryl.com to hire salon staff.
5. Engage clients on social media
Online presence has become a compulsion nowadays. In this pandemic time where clients generally stay at their home, you have to engage them somehow. Use social media for this stuff. It can connect you to your clients in no time. Create your social media pages on different platforms if you don’t have them yet. If you already have them, its time to use them to be more productive. You can regularly update your clients about your new services and facilities through your social media pages. Tell them about how your salon has changed and adapted to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This will also allow your clients to pre-book their visits. Give them tutorials on self-grooming. You can also try organizing quizzes or giveaways.
6. Include Self-grooming retail products
This pandemic has increased the use of self-care products at home. People couldn’t visit salons for almost three months. So, they started practicing self-grooming. They have more product knowledge & ingredients awareness now. People choose products that have environment-friendly ingredients over harmful chemicals. The salon industry has seen an increase of 60% in skincare product sales. Cosmetic products also drove more sales. So, boost your salon retail sales by adding more skincare & cosmetic products to your salon inventory. Showcase these products to your clients after giving them services.
7. Encourage & Accept Digital Payments
The Coronavirus can also spread through cash- be it a paper currency or coins. We can easily stop this spread by accepting digital payments. Nowadays, we have so many apps like Paytm, Phonepe, which can directly transfer money to different bank accounts. Register as a merchant account on these apps and ask your clients to pay digitally. There’s also this government app called BHIM app. The money gets transferred directly to your bank account using UPI. If the clients cannot pay digitally and you have no option but to accept cash payments, then keep that cash separately and sanitize them.
8. Offer discounts & cashback
This tip is only for the premium salon brands because average salons cannot afford to give cashback and discounts. Few big brands in the industry have started giving discounts and cashback. They have also extended their client’s membership validities. Their main target is to focus on growing client’s confidence and to bring them back to the salons.
These were few ways salons can adapt to COVID-19. We all know how much this pandemic affected the salon industry- from generating no revenue to paying high rents, from losing staff to having staff with no work. As the lockdowns have been lifted and people have started going out, Salon services have started gaining importance once again. So, cheer up and go all the way out to welcome your clients. We can recover all the losses we have suffered before. We will win this over with our continuous efforts. If your salon is short on staff, visit letsryl.com to hire best salon staff hassle-free. Don’t forget to check out our other blogs to know more about the salon business.